Grasping The Hot Coal

via Daily Prompt: Grasp


The quote is often attributed to the Buddha, however, he never said it (see: It is thought to have originated from the fifth century commentator Buddhaghosa who said: “By doing this you are like a man who wants to hit another and picks up a burning ember or excrement in his hand and so first burns himself or makes himself stink.” Visuddimagga 1X,23. At least the Quotery didn’t get it wrong.

What a great quote! Another great teacher, Jesus, once said “… do not let the sun go down on your anger …” So a similar perspective – don’t hang onto it.

Whichever quote you choose, the point is made, that anger grasped and held is toxic. We know that feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are, but when we hang onto one or another they change us. Science can now show how the hormones associated with anger, especially when suppressed or lacking expression, poison our system affecting us body, mind and soul. Stress, cardio, respiratory, muscle, blood, all deeply affected. Anger is normal in context, but to never express it or deal with it will affect our lives in every way. When anger becomes a pathology, a way of being, a default, it cripples us, and especially because in that way, we are most likely unaware of it. It can be difficult when anger is attached to identity issues, rejection, depression (anger turned inwards) suppressed gratification, bullying and so on. However, we must learn to let go, to set issues aside, to talk it through, to call for help, get a perspective, find a position of empathy and compassion, I find meditation forms very helpful. Anger isn’t wrong, just don’t hang onto it otherwise it will consume you. Besides, who wants to be defiend by anger?




Filed under life, mindfulness, psychology, self-development, Spirituality

28 responses to “Grasping The Hot Coal

  1. Great quote. Easily sums it all up.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Letting go, forgiving and the other mentioned outlets can mellow out anger; or the anger can fuel plans of action….

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Our struggle..much to consider, thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. So very true, Paul, but sometimes people are not aware that is it they who are hanging on to their own anger.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. grasped … anger … would not have made the connection but it true. We need to release our grasp on anger. Insightful connection made .. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. reminds of the video I saw recently, the young lad saying you become what you practice … what are you practising? If you practise anger you become angry, if you practise patience you become patient … great wisdom again thanks Paul!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Give it a limited time-frame, and make the most of it with logic and action. Anger itself isn’t bad, it’s how the person uses it, especially when it’s used to harm or belittle others. Good anger has a way of cleaning the cupboards or the windows, and occasionally, both. and then it’s gone, and what’s left behind is a clean slate. Anger often isn’t necessary if the words that need to be spoken are spoken when they are needed to be said and heard. Holding on to anger makes it a monster.
    Breathe, count to ten, breathe again, and say what needs to be said. If, during the intake of that ten second breath, the need to say it goes away, the anger was a spark of self-indulgence, and that’s something to note and work on, not something to flay others with.
    When I had foster kids, we had a Friday night ritual. Everyone got five minutes to speak about whatever they wanted to rant about from the week before. Five minutes, timed. What happened? Mostly, by the time it got to Friday and their notes were all written out, and the other kids helped with how to present it, the anger wasn’t there anymore … but they still got to say their piece, and how they dealt with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Suppressing and supposedly controlling anger is an ideological extension of society’s accepted norms which doesn’t really end anger fundamentally.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great reminder. Time to breathe it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. True! Anger only drains us of energy. Nice quote.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Lyn Cannon

    Yes and you need to find what the primary source is driving the anger to fully deal with this secondary emotion that c an be so destructive


    Liked by 2 people

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